Friday, November 14, 2014

Why Liberals Read More Books Than Conservatives  

Wayne Allyn Root has some good points below but perhaps I can add something too.  I also rarely read books these days -- though I used to read 2 or 3 books a week when I was a kid.  I just don't have the time to read books because there is so much to keep up with online.  I spend around 12 hours a day reading but I read stuff off a screen, not from books.

Another probable factor behind book reading is that liberals have a greater need to "tailor" what they see and hear.  The content of a book is fairly predictable so the book can be chosen to tell you stuff you like to hear.  You can stay comfortably inside your little Leftist mental bubble by reading mainly books.  If instead you listen to radio and TV you might occasionally hear something that threatens your little fantasy world.  You might for instance hear what those wonderful peace-loving Muslims of ISIS are doing these days.  Horror!  We don't want to hear that!

And you might even hear fleetingly that Israel invaded Gaza only after Gazans had rained thousands of rockets down upon Israel.  Could those powerless but wise and heroic Palestinians do that?  Much nicer to read a book by Jimmah Carter or his ilk telling us that Israel is an "Apartheid state".  Never mind that Israeli Arabs have exactly the same rights as Israeli Jews and are found at all levels of Israeli society

A new study came out last week that proves that liberals (Democrats and Progressives) read more books than Conservatives (Republicans or Libertarians). Leading publishing executives even commented on it, saying that more books should be aimed at liberals because Conservatives just don't read. The inference, of course, is that Conservatives are ignorant, lazy, or just not intellectually curious. Meanwhile liberals will undoubtedly use these new "facts" to prove that they are intellectual heavyweights- the very kind of highly informed intellectuals who should be running our country.

What a crock! The truth is that facts are many times misleading- and this is a perfect example. The fact is that liberals have the time to read books simply because they are rarely in positions of authority or leadership- they do not own businesses, run companies, or serve in positions of great responsibility. It's easy to find the time to read a book on a couch or lazy-boy when you get off work at 3 PM daily- and have no responsibilities once you walk out the office door. Unfortunately for the rest of us in positions of ownership and leadership, our days never end. We are making business calls, participating in conference calls, and answering emails at all hours of the day and night. For the people defined as "conservative" our responsibilities never end- leaving us little, if any, time to even fantasize about reading books.

Who are "conservatives?" Conservatives are simply defined as the "producers" of our economy- Americans with important jobs; in leadership positions; with great responsibility; the type of people that are "on the go" 24/7- who make our economy go and grow.

No, conservatives don't have the time to read books. But they are busy creating, funding and shaping the businesses, industries, and jobs that make a difference in our world (and our economy). Reading books is not something they have time for in their busy schedules. They have mortgages, property taxes, income taxes, private schools and college educations (for their kids) to pay for. When you're bright and ambitious and want to provide a better life for your family, there are a lot of bills to pay- big bills. No, reading books is just not high up on the "priority list" for conservatives.

Equally misleading is the fact that, while busy entrepreneurs and executives (like me) don't have time to read books, we actually read far more than any liberal. We simply choose to read publications important to our careers, our success, and our understanding of the business world. For instance I rarely read a book- but I read 5 to 7 newspapers a day. My daily "must read" is the Wall Street Journal. I read it from front to back every morning. I also read the NY Times, LA Times, USA Today and my local Las Vegas Review Journal. But that's just the start. I read Forbes, Fortune, Robb Report and a multitude of other important business and political magazines.

By the way, I do "read" several books a month- but I do not have the time to sit and read them in traditional fashion. I read them by listening to books on tape. So while liberals are fancying themselves as "gifted intellectuals" because they read 2 or 3 books a month, I'm busy reading 50 to 100 business publications a month, while also listening to 20 books on tape. So who's really doing the most reading? I'd argue that reading the Wall Street Journal daily is far more intellectual and crucial to success, than reading 2 or 3 books (perhaps romance novels or psycho-babble by Dr. Phil) at the beach. Reading books is a good thing- but not nearly as good for society (or the economy) as working 24/7 to create and build businesses. Not even close. Liberals don't read more books than conservatives because they are smarter- they just have more leisure time.

The reason that Conservatives don't read books is the exact same reason that liberals fail miserably on talk radio. Just in the past few months, high-profile liberal talk radio networks Air America and Jane Fonda's GreenStone Media (feminist radio) both declared bankruptcy and went off the air. Why? Because radio is not something most people listen to at home. Talk radio is the perfect form of entertainment while driving in your car. And who drives in their cars (particularly during morning and evening rush hour)? People with jobs, businesses, careers- otherwise known as conservatives (at least fiscal conservatives). Talk radio is dominated by conservative hosts- they literally scream all day long about high taxes and wasteful government spending. You know why? Because the drivers listening to these shows are the ones who pay all the taxes!

Conservatives drive in the morning to work (sometimes an hour or longer commute), they drive back home at night, they drive in-between to business lunches, client meetings and sales calls. Then they drive on Saturday and Sunday mornings to their children's ballgames, karate classes, Lacrosse matches, and swimming lessons. These are people with families, big mortgages, careers. No wonder they are fiscally conservative.



In Another Blow to Obamacare, the Supreme Court Will Hear This Case

As director of the Center for Health Policy Studies, Nina Owcharenko oversees The Heritage Foundation’s research and policy prescriptions on such issues as health care reform on the federal and state levels, Medicare and Medicaid, children’s health and prescription drugs. Read her research.
The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the King v. Burwell case exposes another potential weakness in the health care law. In the King case, the Supreme Court will consider whether the Internal Review Service has the authority to expand the application of healthcare subsidies to federal exchanges.

The subsidies are a key tool used under the law to drive individuals onto the government exchanges. Without the subsidies, fewer individuals likely would chose to purchase the government-mandated plans.

But only 14 states and the District of Columbia established state-based exchanges and even some of those (Oregon and Nevada) are backing out for 2015. In the remainder of states with exchanges, the federal government, not the state governments, established the exchanges.

As my colleague Andrew Kloster summarized in another post on a related case, “The tax subsidies for low-income Americans are only available, “through an Exchange established by [a] State under section 1311.” Federal exchanges are set up under Section 1321 of Obamacare – not Section 1311. But the administration still wants to provide subsidies, even though the law doesn’t appear to authorize the handout.” And there lies the problem.

So should the Supreme Court decide that the subsidies are not valid in the federal exchange, it will mark yet another major blow to Obamacare, because the subsidies in those states where the exchanges were established by the federal government no longer will be available.

One of the first blows to Obamacare also came as a result of a Supreme Court ruling. Although the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, as part of the NFIB v. Sebelius decision, the Supreme Court ruled that states choosing not to expand their Medicaid program as posited under Obamacare would not lose their entire federal funding for Medicaid, but would lose only the enhanced funding extended under the law. Today, 23 states still have not expanded their Medicaid programs, delivering another blow to the core of Obamacare.

There are other signs that Obamacare is weakening. The promise that Obamacare would bend the cost curve and lower premiums isn’t being fulfilled. Instead, there are increases and higher premiums inside and outside  the exchanges.

The promise that you could keep your plan and your doctor has been dashed as millions face involuntary cancellations, meaning they’ve lost their plan, only to then find narrowed networks in the government exchanges, meaning they have access to fewer doctors and services than before.

The promise of deficit-free spending has also been shown to be a mirage: Obamacare’s policies actually will increase deficits and fall short of producing the savings it promised. And even the revenues expected to help pay for the health care law aren’t materializing.

And probably the weakest link in Obamacare is its lack of public support. The latest Real Clear Politics average for October showed a 13.5-point difference between those who opposition Obamacare and those who support it. Election night exit polls reinforced this point.

As Obamacare’s core continues to weaken, the new Congress should start fresh and advance a new health care agenda.

This agenda, in sharp contrast with Obamacare, should be based on the principles of patient-centered, market-based health reform where individuals can own their own health care and choose the kind of plan that best meets their healthcare needs, and where a level playing field forces the healthcare sector to compete for consumers based on price, quality and value.



"Big Truthy" Is Watching  You

On Monday, House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, requested that the National Science Foundation send him all information about how and why the taxpayer-subsidized "Truthy" data-mining project came into existence. Its lead researcher is Filippo Menczer — professor of informatics and computer science and the director of the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research at the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing — who is now on sabbatical at Yahoo! Labs.

Menczer and Indiana University vehemently deny that Truthy is a "political watchdog," a "government probe of social media," "an attempt to suppress free speech or limit political speech or develop standards for online political speech," "a way to define "misinformation," a partisan political effort, "a system targeting political messages and commentary connected to conservative groups," "a mechanism to terminate any social media accounts," or "a database tracking hate speech."

But Menczer himself admits the project arose after he learned about a conservative Twitter bomb campaign against failed Senate Democratic candidate Martha Coakley in 2010. His information-gathering system bears liberal comedian Stephen Colbert's neologism "truthy." And the Washington Free Beacon's Elizabeth Harrington reports that Menczer "proclaims his support for numerous progressive advocacy groups, including President Barack Obama's Organizing for Action,, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Amnesty International and True Majority."

In presentations to academic groups, Menczer has specifically highlighted his team's research on conservative groups, individuals and hashtags. I've seen it. At Harvard University's "Truthiness Conference" in March 2012, for example, he showed his audience the results of monitoring and mapping the hashtag "#obamacare" and singled out the D.C.-based Heritage Foundation for using it. His government-funded database mined information on who was retweeting #obamacare-labeled tweets and pinpointed "patterns of propagation."

Menczer and company also policed Twitter users who opined that Obama supported policies that promote Sharia law. Truthy targeted pro-Sarah Palin tweets and tweets using the hashtag "#tcot" — which stands for "Top Conservatives on Twitter" and which I've used since 2009. The government-funded researchers also went after opponents of Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, as well as a "Republican activist in Pennsylvania" whose Twitter account was then shut down after Truthy identified tweets that included web links to John Boehner's official congressional leadership page.

The goal, Menczer explained, is to "detect" Twitter users' themes and memes "early before damage is done — that is what we're trying to do." Truthy will "automatically detect language," and its overseers will conduct "sentiment analysis" to control and prevent "damage."

Nope, no political goals or ideological agenda there. Nothing to see here. Run along.

Menczer defends against leftwing bias by claiming that "almost all of the most popular hashtags, the most active accounts, and the most tweeted URLs, are from the right. We looked really hard for any 'truthy' memes from the left."

Look harder, pal.

As conservative radio giant Rush Limbaugh and his staff discovered (no tax grant money necessary), the astroturfed social media boycott campaign against his show for the past several years has been spearheaded by only 10 Twitter users who account for almost 70 percent of all "StopRush" tweets to advertisers, amplified by illicit software. Moreover, they found, "almost every communication from a StopRush activist originates from outside the state of the advertiser." These lib bots constitute "a small number of extremists sending tens of thousands of tweets and other messages" to bully and intimidate advertisers.

Yet, there hasn't been a peep about the insidious #StopRush smear campaign from Menczer and his Obama administration-backed liberal snitch squad. It's time for some truth in Truthy advertising.



Apparent attack on voter confidentiality

Touch-Screen Voting Machines Collected Millions of Tea Party Fingerprints for Homeland Security

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a disgruntled engineer for the largest voting machine manufacturer in North America leaked information to NR about the Department of Homeland Security’s involvement with 2014 mid-term election voting data.

The source claimed that in the months preceding the election, more than seventeen thousand new touch-screen voting machines were deployed in almost every state in the union. The bulk of the machines were located in areas with known Tea Party and Libertarian population densities.

The latest generation of machines shipped with new fingerprint gathering technology developed by DHS in cooperation with Apple...  Apple has been working on ways to make the technology profitable by marketing it directly to military agencies and other companies.

Our source revealed that during the course of the election over 4 million Tea Party and Libertarian fingerprints were collected and distributed directly to the DHS Domestic Terrorist database.



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